Macro photography is interesting since its a way to see your subject really up close and personal. You can buy used manual lenses that will work with your digital camera for less than 50 dollars. The key to macro photography is using a tripod and a cable release. If you have any macro shots please share them. Your subjects are limitless.
Here are a few samples of flower photos I took with my Micro NIKKOR 55mm manual macro lens:
Wife is the flower expert.
Tamron 28-200mm for 35mm camera. Lens over 30 years old.
Ist one, taken for a friend, the bush is over 100 years old. Ed.
This post may serve a dual purpose - to show an example of macro photography and to illustrate what can be done with fairly basic equipment. The word "macro" refers to images of a 1:1 or greater magnification ratio. Less than 1:1 is simply close-up photography. True Macro lenses are designed to give maximum resolution and image quality when focussed at very short distances and do not perform at their best when used at longer focus distances, although some macro lenses may be used for normal photography as is the case with the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f2.8 Ai. Many general purpose zoom lenses are branded as "Macro" such as the Sigma Sigma AF 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG Macro. These are not true macro lenses but are lenses that allow a close focus function with a reproduction ratio of 1:2 or less. Another design feature of a true macro lens is a flat imaging plane of focus with no curvilinear distortion. This can be seen through the viewfinder by viewing something with parallel straight sides such as a postage stamp or postcard and noting how straight and parallel the sides of the object are.
This image was not photographed with a true macro lens but with a Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm f2.5 Flektogon in M42 mount fitted to a Pentax K10D camera with a K-mount to M42 adaptor. The 35mm Flektogon has a particularly long focus helical and will focus down to 1:1 magnification although it is not optically corrected for this close distance. . The aperture used was f11 and 1/125th at ISO200.
Superb capture, Jeff. What lens?
Some lovely shots in this thread. I like the fact that macro allows us to see things we wouldn't normally see - one of the great things about several genres of photography.
Great shot, with a well chosen background.
I would like to share some tips
- To ensure your images are free from distractions, shoot your subjects against a white background. A plain wall or piece of white card will do the trick. If you like natural light, shoot near a big window with diffused sunlight.
- If you prefer to use flash, position an external flashgun off to one side of the set-up. To avoid garish-looking shadows, diffuse the flash by firing it through a reflector. This will soften and spread the light.
- With macro photography, depth of field is restricted the closer you are to your subject, so start with a mid-range aperture of f/5.6-f/8. For a more abstract composition, set a wide aperture for creative blur.
- In post-processing remove all color with a black & white conversion. With the color removed, the details are so much more apparent. To enhance the tones and texture, boost the contrast too.